My Life is my Message

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“My life is my message” – Mahatma Gandhi

This is my first time seeing this quote. I love it because it fits-in perfectly with my beliefs. A lot of pressure is put on me, as a black male and young artist, to be SPECIFICALLY this and that for the sole purpose of influencing the communities (mainly male, black, Haitian, young adult, black artist) that I am a part of in a positive and progressive way.

The struggle that I face being in these categories (btw no one cares about my preferences—maybe I wanted to be a kangaroo, who knows?) is that I don’t want to play along with anyone’s idea of what I SHOULD be. Neither do I like that. I believe that by keeping myself alive and taking the best care of myself, I am being an exemplary member of the black community, for example (staying alive is key here, unfortunately). I believe that by chasing my freedom regardless of what others may think (regardless of even the opinions of those who fully support me), I am being an exemplary member of the male community—especially when considering the captivity of toxic masculinity. I believe that just by creating at my own pace (there is no pace, actually—it’s all crazy and shit gets created when it does 🤷🏾‍♂️), even though I always turn my back to go clock-in for my day job, I am being an exemplary artist. I don’t need to be producing content heavily—especially black-activism themed content. I don’t need to have a certain level of recognition to be an “artist” (even though recognition is a part of my big-bad plan). I believe that I don’t have to be monetarily, actively, educationally, spiritually, or culturally supporting Haiti in order to be an “acceptable” Haitian, a “real” Haitian, or just a Haitian. Being born in Haiti, and even me correcting people, “No. I am Haitian. I just happen to have an American citizenship” is enough. I don’t have to be racking up debt, bills, have a stable job, all the while building a family to be properly “adulting”. I’m legally an adult—alive and thriving. That suffices.

I also don’t have to start an organization, support a fund, or put my name behind a movement in order to be a promoter of these things. My life is my message. Me being alive while being my full self should send the message that I, too, am a part of the revolution. I don’t need to be fighting like everyone else is fighting or like everyone else is expecting their counterparts to fight. My Life is my Message.

Anyways, I surely hope that is what Gandhi meant with that quote lol!

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Many thanks to the post on https://jezzieg.com that inspired this response. Check out their page, y’all!

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So much to do but NOT ENOUGH TIME!

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What do you complain about the most?

It is incredibly unfair that we are expected to do so much—we put so much pressure on ourselves to do so much—and yet we do not have the sufficient amount of time in the day to do it all. 24 hours is not enough time for me to get done all that society requires of me as well as all that I require of myself (that includes health related and career/goal/social related). I’ve tried waking up an hour or more earlier, I’ve cut some things out of my life, I diminished my social life—but the fact is that I just never have enough time to accomplish it all! Therefore, one thing I complain about the most is how I do not have the sufficient amount of time.

Dark, Dark, Dark Moon

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I miss her telling me how beautiful the moon is.

She loves the moon, and I do too. She would always tell me or send me a picture when she thought the moon was beautiful. That was a message I always looked forward to because I do want to know what the moon looks like in NYC. I wanna know that the moon is beautiful through her eyes. I wish I had let her know how much I loved each time she told me about the moon. I love seeing the moon through her. It was more beautiful and special that way.

I feel like I didn’t appreciate it enough whenever she sent me a message about the moon. Damn, it really is true isn’t it? You never know how good something was until you lose it. I wonder if at times she realizes how good I was, now that she has lost me. But I doubt it—she is happily in love now. I’m sure thoughts about me don’t even matter. Thoughts of me don’t even dare to go near her. Do I still cross your mind? I think about her everyday, not obsessively—not anymore, but I do think about her every day. She’s just a thought that crosses my mind so casually every now and then, like an awakening wind that distracts me from whatever it be—perhaps a reminder of what I don’t have anymore. Damn, just like that everything was thrown away.

A while ago, I saw a post on the We’re Not Really Strangers Instagram page (I think it was their page). The quote said that a saddening thing about a relationship ending is that a language dies. The unique way you spoke to each other, the cute words and inside jokes that only you two would understand, and know the origin of, is gone. It’s no more. A way of life came to an end. Some things that you got comfortable with and were super-duper accustomed to are just no more. They’re dead. This is something I’m going through right now with having lost her. I hate separations. I particularly hate how this one happened. I’m grateful for how it happened though, strangely enough to say. Like I said, had it not happen, I wouldn’t have realized so many things in my life. Plus, there are many positive changes that I’m implementing in my life which were triggered by her moving on. Although, I’d love to still have her in my life—maybe a full casual conversation every now and then. But I have no right to that, anymore. That was thrown away too. I don’t have the right to that, anymore. We’re really strangers.

I wonder if she misses our conversations, or is she so happy and comfortably in love that all thoughts of me are already gone, irrelevant, and erased, in a matter of what? Only a few months? A summer. Maybe that’s for the best. That’s how it’s supposed to be regardless of how much I believe in a human’s ability to change fate, what’s meant to be, and how things are supposed to roll out. She obviously is enlightened in a way that I’m not.

I wonder what the moon in NYC looks like tonight.

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Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzc6ZeQO0as

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like We

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We hate that We’re like We but We
wouldn’t change We for the world
though the world changes for itself
other planets uncaringly in its atmosphere

you wouldn’t want no different
than We but you are filled with
questions confusion a volcano
tugging and probing for readjustment

so may try or think We lesser than you
but We hate what We are what We are
We wouldn’t change for your world you
publicize as perfect but tuck sunsets into dawn

We hate what We are. Why are We
like this? Return on character investment
happens before an answer arrives,
that won’t change much anyways.

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Memories Left in the Night

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I wanna do some things tomorrow,
so I need to leave early. I have to go, dear friend.
but don’t turn it off; leave the entertainment in the night

pleasure can rejuvenate, but life will go
time will find its match, while you’ll be here
inundated by pleasure, staggered by intimacy.

let the dark preserve what could’ve been
guard the memories, so each time regret gets too near,
we’ll recline into the night—give life to these moments again

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if i die in my sleep

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my mother struggles for the care of her community
drop outs on broadcast with a curriculum in their mouth,
the avenues always studying.
so why the education that you offer?

which level of this cycle begs the most for attention?
my brother strives to open our eyes
presenting to a collection of disguise
he’s the example, avenue. a Promise
but our stomachs ask for attention, too

if death comes for me, tonight
where in my sleep will it place the blame?
am I a bad student? or do certain teachings drowse me
amiss to the dreams deferred before i knew of sleep
the dreams yawning, yearning, to be awake in the present

my uncle’s teeth are rotting
but Which lesson in life did he not learn?
Which course initiated the faults in him?
Which choices were his to make?

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This poem was the result of an assignment I was given by an organization. The instruction was to write a poem that touches upon the idea of “The American Dream Deferred.” I wrote the poem and sent it to them, but I never heard back. It’s a great piece though. I surprised myself too.

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How To Wake Up Early

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you first wake up by setting
six alarms that you cannot tell yourself
you will ignore or, much better,
turn off as that will stop the lousy disturbance

the smartest person in the world will
tell you to go to sleep early and make it
a habit, but they surely have forgotten
about the dark sleepless road before success

now their words have some significance to you
though most of you think it is much easier
to give merit to a darkness with struggle
when all of your garments, actions and words
reek with success already

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I wrote this after watching a Billy Collins Masterclass. It’s something quite fun. I hope you wake up early this year 🙂 Happy 2023!

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What I learned from Snowboarding

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On Christmas Day, for the first time since I started snowboarding a few years ago, I snowboarded down a blue trail without falling. When you’re going down a snow hill on a snowboard, you notice very interesting things happening to your thoughts. It’s very funny and humbling. The biggest, and most important thing, that I learned after this big accomplishment in my life has to do with trust and my relationship with it. 

I didn’t make my way down that mountain because I knew what I was doing. I made my way down because I TRUSTED that I could do it. I trusted that I had what it takes to do it. When you’re moving much faster than you’re used to with many bumps (obstacles) that you’re not used to facing—while knowing that whipping out is an embarrassment—the mind immediately goes into panic mode. It activates fight or flight. ”I CANNOT DO THIS! I CANNOT DO THIS! ABORT THE MISSION! ABORT THE MISSION!” During the whole ride, I found myself fighting with my mind to stay on the snowboard and not give up—DO NOT throw away the whole project (as we all do at times) by purposefully putting your butt on the snowy ground!

Here are a few things that I learned from my experience:

– TRUST YOURSELF! Trust. You have the skills needed to accomplish the task. Trust that you can do it.

– No matter how hectic, unexpected and challenging the external environment gets, remain as CALM as possible on the inside.

– DO NOT let fear take control of your decision making.

– Be aware of whether fear or caution is running the ship! They are very similar, but one makes sure you’re safe WITHIN the situation (caution) while the other tries to get you OUT of the situation (to safety) (fear).

– You do not get better at level 1 by sticking to it until you master it. You get better at level 1 by gaining JUST enough skills (and courage) to attempt level 2. In the process of facing that higher level (failing, hurting yourself—all that good stuff), you will gain mastery of the previous level without even noticing it (it sounds crazy but it works!)

– Keep your eyes on YOUR OWN ROAD (and the goal). Don’t worry about what other people are doing or their skill level! This is a journey by yourself. One where YOU ARE your only opponent. Focus on that opponent.

– Enjoy the ride. Make sure you are having fun. That’s the most important (and memorable) thing when it is all said and done.

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Comatose

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I never knew how it started.
I’d just always be sitting at that seat when she walked into the car. Then

That became our thing.
That became our time.
That became our train.
That became our car.
That became our seat.
That became our corner.
That became our station.
That became our greeting.
That became our expectation.
That became our reason to smile.

That became our every day.
Until someone was missing

From our thing.
From our time.
From our train.
From our car.
From our seat.
From our corner.
From our station.
From our greeting.
From our expectation.
From our reason to smile.

Every day, 11 days.
She knew that was it.

When I woke up, 11 days later,
I knew that was it.

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